The 2013 RiverRidge Recycling Glens Forestry Rally proved the perfect showcase for Northern Ireland’s newest rally team.
Officially launched at the event, which is the final forest rally of the 2013 season, the four car squad raced under leading local waste management firm RiverRidge Recycling’s brand.
The RiverRidge Recycling Rally team all drive Ford Escort MkIIs and the team consist of drivers, Eamon Doherty, Eoin McGuckian, Paddy McToal and Paul Ward as well as their support teams.
Eamon Doherty, Financial Director of RiverRidge Recycling and founder of the team said, “This all came about as a bit of joke with Eoin (McGuckian) who also works at RiverRidge Recycling. He said that we should set up our own team and that got me thinking.
“I’m a big motorsport fan and have been competing for some years so I really like the idea of setting up a rally team, but I knew we needed to get more people involved if we wanted to make a go of it.”
All of the cars carry similar decals and are supported by a service crew of four mechanics. Doherty believes it will generate interest among rally goers.
“When you’ve a team with identical branding at service and on stages it will get people talking. They will notice it more and I’ve no doubt that it’ll draw additional interest to the team, drivers and all those involved and hopefully increase the profile of motorsport within Northern Ireland.
“For me, the aim is to keep the team going to carry this forward into the Northern Ireland Championship and possibly add a few more cars, perhaps a World Rally Car. I’ve already been approached by some people who have asked if they can join, but we’ll have to get a budget in place before we can do that.
“We are already coming together as a team, everyone is looking out for one another which is good. Drivers like Paddy, who has a lot of experience on gravel, is happy to share advice – something that wouldn’t have probably happened before.”
Although there is a strong camaraderie off the stages it was most definitely put to one side when the action got underway.
At the end of six stages and over 35 miles later Paddy McToal did not disappoint. Managing to retain winner of his class he also took home the Adam H Erwin Trophy for highest placed Ford in overall finishers and was a credible sixth place overall and top 2 wheel drive.
Both Eamon Doherty and Eoin McGuckian finished second in their respective classes with Paul Ward running a course car for the event.
Eamon Doherty concluded, “It was a fantastic event and exceptionally well run. I have to say although there were some challenging stages I didn’t crash out which was so much better than last year. So here’s to 2014 and let’s see what’s in store for the RiverRidge Recycling Rally team.”